There's just something about going outside,without a coat, boot, gloves... While I love winter, there's an ease about spring. I just love taking kids out around our pond, and this spring has brought fishing, exploring, snake hunting, and duckling rescuing all back with a rush! The prairie is still being a bit shy, with only a few Golden Alexanders peeking into bloom. Like it knows May sometimes brings enough cold to make flowers shiver at night. I know how exciting the prairie is going to look, but my young visitors...not so much excitement as wariness about bugs, field mice, and spiders.
There's two types of group that come to campus for greenspace tours. (Well, being totally honest- they come for the Challenger Learning Center, and I'm just the glorified babysitter while the other half of the group discovers comets or walks on Mars or something MUCH more exciting than "oh, this plant will look really cool in two months.") Yeah- so back to the two groups. There's the "raise their hands when outside, never leave the path, can you turn off the wind" group. Then there's the herding cats group that I just follow and explain whatever they've discovered. One group, I do all the talking, hope something gets through, and don't bother telling jokes. The other- as long as no one falls into the pond or eats poison ivy, it's a success, and they usually like my jokes. The ones that stay with me learn whatever I decide to tell them. The ones who tend to wander away learn whatever they want to learn. I'm good either way.
If I'm tired, I like the drag and brag group. I can do this in my sleep, which is good because they are asleep as well. The herding cats group keeps me on my toes, with lots of "What's this?" and "I found something!" and "Can I eat this?" I get tired, but I'm energized by them as well. The problem lies when I'm all WOOHOO let's go hiking and I have an "Outside is icky" class. Or if I'm tired because I stayed up way to late mooning over Craig Ferguson and I have a class of Lewis and Clarks ready to go explore the wilderness. Today is rainy, so we all stay inside and talk about bottled water-
Which reminds me- If you have the chance see the documentary FLOW. Guaranteed to get you pissed off at the World Bank and privatized water suppliers.
Time to go babysit another class- Oh I mean educate young minds about evil bottled water...